The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a key component of campaign finance limits, effectively erasing from the books a major provision of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.
By a 5-to-4 ruling on McCutcheon v. FEC, the justices eliminated a cap on the total amount of money that donors can contribute to candidates and parties in each election. “That limit had been $123,000. It now means that a multimillionaire will be able to give federal candidates, including those in Wisconsin, up to $3.6 million,” said Jay Heck with Common Cause in Wisconsin.
“People should have the right to give their money and exercise free speech to as many candidates and as many political committees and PACs as they want,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
Heck said the decision opens the door for each member of the Wisconsin congressional delegation and every candidate for Congress to solicit multi-million dollar gifts from ultra-wealthy donors.
“Small contributions mean almost nothing anymore. It means that when candidates are looking for money, they will be able to go to multimillionaires to get maximum-sized contributions,” said Heck. “The $25, $15 and $10 contributions will be relegated to window dressing.”